BMW 1 Series Dashboard Warning Lights

This section contains many of the dashboard warning lights and engine management symbols for BMW E81 E82 E87 E88 1 series. Many of the lights apply to the BMW F20 series 1 and newer 2015 models of the series 1.

On board computers use dashboard warning lights to convey information to the driver of the vehicle as many mechanical and electrical systems are constantly monitored.

Warning lights illuminate in different colours. Vehicle utilities such as external lighting, windscreen washers, heating etc, use blue and green symbols representing a visual aid informing the driver that a utility is active.

Orange / amber warning lights inform the driver that something needs attending soon. This could be an engine service is required soon for example. Red symbols are more serious and often require immediate attention. A critical issue may flash red and also possibly be accompanied by and audible sound.

The dashboard warning lights detailed below for the BMW series 1 models provide the symbol along with an explanation of what the issue is and what action should be taken. Symbols may vary depending of the county of manufacture.

BMW series 1 ignition on door open dashboard warning lightIgnition on / door open warning light

This exclamation mark dashboard warning light illuminates when the ignition has been switched on but a door is open. Ensure all doors are closed and try the ignition again.

BMW Series 1 engine will not start dashboard warning lightEngine Will Not Start WARNING LIGHT

The BMW Series 1 requires that you depress the clutch or the brake pedal before attempting to start the engine.


BMW Series 1 low fuel dashboard warning lightLow Fuel WARNING LIGHT

The BMW Series 1 low fuel warning light will illuminate briefly to inform you that there is only 8 litres of fuel remaining. when the light remains on, there is a maximum of 50 km of traveling distance remaining of fuel.

BMW Series 1 outside temperature warning lightOutside Temperature WARNING LIGHT

When the displayed temperature falls to approximately +377/+36, a signal sounds and a warning light illuminates. There is an increased risk of black ice.

BMW series 1 parking brake applied European dashboard light BMW series 1 parking brake applied USA dashboard light Parking Brake Applied WARNING LIGHT

Dashboard symbol for the BMW Series 1 with the exclamation mark applies to European models whilst the symbol containing the ‘P’ is for USA and Canadian models.

BMW series 1 fasten safety belts dashboard warning lightFasten Seat Belt WARNING LIGHT

Dashboard symbol to remind the driver and passengers to fasten their safety belts.


BMW Series 1 fog light dashboard warning lightFog Lights WARNING LIGHT

This dashboard warning light illuminates to inform the drive that the fog lights have been turned on.


BMW Series 1 main beam on dashboard lightFull Beam on Dashboard Symbol

This dashboard symbol illuminates in blue to inform the driver that full / main beam headlights are on. It will also illuminate then headlight flasher is used.

BMW 1 Series turn signal dashboard symbolTurn Signals DASHBOARD SYMBOL

The corresponding arrow will illuminate in green depending on which direction the signals are activated. Both arrows will illuminate when hazard lights are activated.

BMW 1 Series parking light dashboard symbolParking Lights DASHBOARD SYMBOL

This is to inform the driver that the parking lights are still turned on.


BMW 1 Series roadside parking light dashboard symbolRoadside PARKING LIGHTS DASHBOARD SYMBOL

This is to inform the driver that the roadside parking lights are turned on.


BMW 1 Series door open dashboard lightDoor Open DASHBOARD SYMBOL

This is to inform the driver that one of the vehicle doors are open or not properly closed.


BMW 1 Series bonnet open dashboard lightBMW 1 Series boot open dashboard lightBonnet and Boot DASHBOARD SYMBOL

This is to inform the driver that either the engine compartment lid (bonnet) or boot (trunk) is open.


BMW 1 Series convertible roof dashboard warning lightConvertible Roof DASHBOARD Warning Light

If this symbol lights up in red, it signifies either that the convertible top is not locked, or that there’s an electronic failure with the locking mechanism. If the symbol lights up in yellow, it signifies that either the cargo area partition is not in its lowermost position, or the vehicle speed is too high for the roof to move, or the convertible drive top has overheated.

BMW 1 Series rollover protection system warning lightRollover Protection DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

This symbol will illuminate permanently if the Rollover Protection System has a malfunction. Have vehicle checked at a BMW centre.

BMW 1 Series fuel cap open warning lightFuel Cap Open DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

This symbol illuminates on the BMW 1 Series if the fuel cap has not been secured correctly. Cap should be securely closed until you hear an audible click.

BMW 1 Series windscreen washer warning lightWindscreen Washer DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

The windscreen washer light illuminates when cleaning liquid in the washer reservoir is running low and will soon run out.


BMW 1 Series exclamation mark triangleEngine Start / Service DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

This exclamation mark in a triangle symbol will illuminate in red to inform the driver that a service is due. If it illuminates in yellow, it signifies that the engine will start next time the start/stop button is pressed, possibly without the brake or clutch being depressed.

BMW 1 Series remote control malfunction warning lightRemote Control Malfunction DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

This key symbol means there’s a malfunction with the remote control, the car has no Comfort Access. Have the remote control checked else vehicle may not start.

BMW 1 Series remote control battery flat dash lightREMOTE CONTROL Battery Flat WARNING LIGHT

This key symbol with a battery means the battery in the remote control has discharged and needs to be replaced.


BMW 1 Series belt-air-bag-failure warning lightBMW series 1 fasten safety belts dashboard warning lightBelt TENSIONer / Air Bag failure WARNING LIGHT

This is a serious warning symbol as it means the seat belt tensioners or the air bags may have a malfunction. System should be checked immediately. Both symbols illuminate together to signify seat belt tensioner failure. For further information about airbags and possible faults, see why is the airbag light on?

BMW 1 Series steering defect dashboard warning lightSteering Defect WARNING LIGHT

This dashboard warning light signifies that either active steering is defective or that steering assistance is defective. The BMW 1 Series can still be driven, though steering may be slightly off-centre due to active steering being defective, or steering may be much more difficult that usual due to power steering failure. Speed should be moderated and system checked as soon as possible.

BMW 1 Series emergency request system dashboard warning lightEmergency Request System WARNING LIGHT

The BMW 1 Series SOS light will illuminate when the Emergency Request System has a malfunction. A BMW centre will need to be seen for remedial action.

BMW 1 Series engine malfunction dashboard warning lightEngine Malfunction WARNING LIGHT

If this dashboard symbol illuminates in red, you will be unable to continue your journey. Switch off the car and contact a BMW centre. If symbol illuminates in yellow, full engine power will not be available. The 1 Series can still be driven but assistance must be sought soon.

9 thoughts on “BMW 1 Series Dashboard Warning Lights”

  1. terry

    when parked amber battery light comes on bmw116d for a short time then light gos off and also radio

  2. Nomalanga

    I’m a female and need urgent help pleas

  3. Terry – might be battery ! Does the car have stop start function ! Although car still turns over to start when the battery needs replacing the stop start function seems to be the first thing it affects


  5. I assume by the sounds of it, the engine isn’t cranking, which points to an electrical issue. The easiest place to start is with the battery. There may be enough power in it to activate lights, but not enough to power the starter motor. Battery problems is the most common issue. Check battery charge and ensure terminals are corrosion free and properly connected. If it is the battery, check that your alternator is working properly to charge it and if the battery is old, might be worth hooking up a new one. If the battery is fine, then it may be the starter motor. A clicking or buzzing sound may indicate the starter motor is not working (provided that the battery is sufficiently charged). Sometimes giving it a gentle knock can be a temporary fix to get it to crank. Also check your fuses. Those are generally the things that you can check yourself.

  6. Chinedu

    Please help my BMW 1series is showing yellow engine malfunction light and after a while it goes off again. Does it mean the engine is bad?

  7. Hi Chinedu,
    No, it doesn’t mean the entire engine is bad, it means there’s a component inside the engine (or elsewhere) that’s not working properly. There are many components that when malfunction can trigger the engine warning light. When the engine light is triggered, a fault code is usually generated and stored. What you’ll need to do is have diagnostics. A diagnostic tool is plugged into your BMW’s diagnostic port, the tool then scans for fault codes. These fault codes then help to determine where the problem is. That’s the best way forward. Most vehicle repair workshops have diagnostic equipment. You can keep driving with the engine light on, but the problem may worsen the longer you leave it. If the engine light flashes, you’ll need to get it sorted immediately.

  8. Michaela

    My engine light came on my bmw 120 sport do check oil water and had a service in October just gone. It the went out but now I get into the car OK with the key but when I put the key fob in and press stop and stop it won’t start. What can the reason be fir this yo happen?

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